YSP-1100 Setup and Remote Control
When installing the YSP-1100 (or any other Yamaha Digital Sound Projector product) it's important to note a few things about your room before selecting a location or moving forward with the placement of the system. If you think the YSP-1100 will work in any room under any conditions you'll need to check out a few scenarios where we do NOT recommend placing this type of system:
- In a heavily acoustically-treated room or where reflective surfaces have been minimized
- In a room where furniture obstructs the beam paths (firing at roughly 30 degrees and 60 degrees from the center of the unit if parallel-mounted)
- In a room that is more akin to a football field or warehouse than a listening room (the room has to be within 23" x 23" and preferably less than 12" tall)
- Rooms missing both side walls
- In the middle of a casino (ok, that last one is obvious)
- Seating areas that are very close to or against the back wall (3-Beam mode and Stereo modes will work as will My Beam mode)
- Corner-arranged rooms where one or more side walls include large openings
- Normal listening rooms where one or more side walls include large openings
- Rooms missing an entire wall
- Rooms with high levels of ambient noise (this goes for any speaker system)
OK, you've found your ideal location and eliminated the 4" thick first reflection acoustic materials you had custom designed for your listening room prior to purchasing the YSP-1100. Now what? Well, you can mount the YSP-1100 on top of or below the TV. A 42-inch flat panel is the perfect match, but to be honest it looks fabulous with anything up to 50-inches (I had it under a 47-inch LCD display). I tried a number of configurations, but my favorite was actually placing the unit on top of a StudioTech DP-2 RW flat panel/AV component stand and mounting the LCD display high enough for it to clear the Yamaha. If you have a wall-mounted display, then pick up the optional SPM-K1 wall hanging bracket and put the unit on the wall below (preferred) or above the set. If you are doing a corner mount, consider mounting the speaker above the TV in order to ensure that you get some additional clearance for the beams. In either case take a look around the room and see what might be getting in the way of good "beam steerage" (start throwing that terminology around at the office on Monday morning). Also remember that with a corner mount location the system will operate in Stereo + 3Beam mode with the front three channels coming directly out of the system (5Beam is disabled).
Connecting Your Gear
OK, now that the unit is positioned you'll want to make your physical connections. Fortunately, the YSP-1100 comes with a plethora (I still love that word) of inputs for the typical home theater user and certainly well targeted for a lifestyle product. Let's take a brief look at the back of this device:
As you should be able to see here, there are dual component inputs as well as three sets of composite inputs. Audio can be either analogue (2 inputs) or digital (3 inputs). The idea is that you would mate digital inputs for each of the component inputs and then mate analogue for each of the two composite inputs. That leaves another digital input and composite input which can either be utilized or retained for an option. A subwoofer output connection is present and should be connected to the mono line level input of your powered subwoofer. You don't necessarily need a subwoofer with the YSP-1100, but your system will sound much better with it. OK, I changed my mind- you do need a subwoofer. A single composite (for OSD or legacy devices) or component video output (best quality) sends video to your display.
Automatic setup isn't too difficult and involves a couple of easy steps, depending upon whether you are running a full setup or just applying the Sound Optimization to an existing Beam configuration. To run the Auto setup simply plug in the included optimizer microphone (the input is on the left side of the enclosure), place the mic on the included cardboard stand and position it at the listening position (try to ensure it is at ear height). At this point you can either press and hold the "Auto Setup" button on the remote for 5 seconds or enter the Auto setup using the on-screen menu system.
The Auto setup is not without its potential hang-ups, but as with all room optimizations systems, not every room configuration can be accounted for. For example, in one of my reference rooms I ran the Automatic Setup twice and both times it thought my corner-positioned YSP-1100 was set up for parallel installation. The end result worked, but I got a much better sound when I did a manual configuration and switched to a calibrated Stereo + 3Beam mode. Keep this in mind as you set up your own system and remember that you can set up the Beams manually and simply run the Sound Optimizer portion of the auto setup independently.
The Sound Optimizer portion of the Auto Setup configures the distance delay as well as the volume and EQ settings for each of the beams in order to correctly blend the level and tone of all channels.
If you're a tweaker you probably won't be using a YSP-1100 in your main room. If, however, you're like me and have a secondary reference system, or you are a custom installer, then the Manual Setup is likely going to occupy some of your time during the setup process- at least if you want the best results. I found the manual setup process to be a very handy tool for fine tuning the settings- and for ensuring that the system doesn't make incorrect assumptions about your room or setup.
The Manual Setup menu is composed of four main areas with corresponding submenus: Sound, Beam, Input, and Display menus mark the top level and, unlike some menu systems I've seen, are well-named for their functions. I'll point out some of the areas I think should be highlighted below.
The Sound menu is where you have access to Tone controls, Subwoofer settings, Mute level (either full or -20dB), and Audio Delay (0-160ms in 1ms steps). The Room EQ submenu also present here does not, as some will think on initial glance, provide automatic room EQ. Instead, it sets the mounting position of the YSP-1100 (shelf or wall) and whether the room is "Normal" or "High Echo". If you don't have much furniture and have wood floors, you may want to select "Hi Echo".
Editor's Note: Reflective Rooms
Many people aren't aware of whether their rooms are considered "reflective" or not. A quick and easy method for determining this would be to get into the listening position and clap your hands loudly. If it takes longer than 1 second for the decay of that sound to go away, you can pretty much assume that your room is a bit reflective. Items that contribute to this are: sparse furniture, wood floors, high flat ceilings and oversized rooms. If you can read this entire paragraph while the echo of the clap reverberates through your listening room, well then you better go get a throw rug and some drapes!
In the Beam Menu you are presented with Settings Parameters (corner or center wall placement and height) and the Beam Adjustment menu. Here you'll have access to horizontal and vertical angle adjustments as well as the beam travel height, focal length and treble gain. But what exactly that means will ultimately determine if any of this info is useful to you. First of all, the system gives you pink noise for Horizontal and Vertical Angle adjustments, as well as for focal length, but not for the other submenu items. This means that the first two can be done from the listening position using your ears (imagine that!) but the last three will need to be a combination of measuring and trial and error. This, of course assumes you weren't satisfied with the Auto Setup which configures all of this for you.
The Input menu gives the user manual control over input assignments, modes, and trims. You can also rename the inputs. I was pleased to see level trims included in this menu. What is not present are any options for upconversion- this unit doesn't even convert composite video to component. This means that you'll need to run both component video to your television as well as composite should you happen to have legacy equipment or use more than two devices with component video outputs. Another thing to note is that the YSP-1100 does not allow the on-screen display to function over component video (the signal paths are completely separate and isolated). While this may actually yield higher quality component video it also serves as a potential hassle for setting up the unit or making adjustments.
The final Display menu controls the front panel dimmer. It actually allows you to have an auto-dim mode and set the brightness. Alternatively you can leave it on full brightness or turn it off. This is also where you select meters or feet for the measurements and settings menus.
I'm going to keep this brief. It's efficient, easy to program and seems to have everything one would need to run the system- including basic functions for controlling a TV, DVD player or other legacy device. The big thing it lacks is backlighting- which I think should definitely be included. Direct input buttons are included- a plus, and all of the buttons seem to be well within reach- at least for my fingers. I liked the easy sliding switch on the right side which flips the remote from YSP-mode to TV/AV (so that the number buttons can control auxiliary functions in addition to the IntelliBeam controls.) It's a decent remote that gets a good rating and could use some minor improvement.